Maritime Vessel Injury Accident

Whether a worker is a crew member on a tugboat, a barge, a supply boat, a workboat, an inland barge, a drill ship, a semi-submersible, a jack-up, a lift boat or one of the many other types of vessels working on the nation’s waterways or the Gulf of Mexico, the efforts of this maritime worker or “Seamen” is an essential part of the country’s economy . Crew members or vessel often work long hours, under dangerous conditions, with little time off to rest and recover.

In some cases, the vessel owners and their clients push their crews beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. On a vessel, maritime workers must work at a fast pace while dealing with heavy equipment, hazardous substances and severe weather conditions. These circumstances can contribute to accidents that can leave workers with serious injuries. Many maritime workers suffer injuries so severe, they are unable to work for weeks or months at a time, leaving them without the means to earn a living and support their families.

What Are Some Types of Maritime Vessel Injury Accidents?

Workers on maritime vessels can sustain injuries accidents from a number of sources. These sources include:

  • Drill floor accidents
  • Accident from working on rough seas
  • Crane accidents
  • Diving accidents
  • Dredge malfunctions
  • Engine room system failures
  • Ladder and stair surfaces
  • Shrimp boat accidents
  • Rigging problems
  • Transfer basket issues
  • Tugboat accidents
  • Winch malfunctions
  • … and much more.

What Are Some Causes of Maritime Vessel Injury Accidents?

Even under the best of circumstances, accidents can happen and workers can suffer devastating injuries. However, as most maritime workers and vessel crew members will attest, they frequently “do not work under the best circumstances.” They often work harsh conditions while under extreme pressure from a supervisor, captain, tool-pusher or “Company Man” that appears to be more concerned about making money than safety. These hazardous working conditions can, and often do, cause accidents.

Substandard Equipment Maintenance

Each piece of equipment aboard a work vessel serves a vital purpose, from the engine room to the transport rigs, to the winches and cranes that move cargo on and off the ship. When vessel owners fail to keep their equipment in working order, they can place their crew members at serious risk.

Ineffective Supervision

Crew members depend on supervisors to ensure that they can do their work both smoothly and safely. Their duties include making sure that (1) the job gets done on time, (2) that each worker has sufficient training to complete their tasks, and (3) that the proper equipment is available, and (4) safety precautions are in place. Unfortunately, in some instances, these goals can be in conflict with each other. Especially when a supervisor places getting the job done ahead of “getting the job done safely”. When this happens, the crews, the vessel, and even they themselves can be put in grave danger.


Crew members depend on each piece of equipment to be working at its best. Repairs, maintenance, and upkeep aboard a vessel can often seem like a never-ending job. When a supervisor or vessel owner neglects any of the vital components that keep a ship running, including safety measures or equipment, this decision can often lead to the crew suffering horrible injuries.

What Types of Injuries Happen to Maritime Vessel Crew Members?

Workers on maritime vessels are prone to numerous types of serious injuries. These injuries can put a crew member out of work for weeks, months, or permanently. Injuries can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Low back injuries
  • Neck and shoulder injuries
  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Head and neck trauma
  • Internal organ damage
  • Torn ligaments, muscles, tendons
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TMI)
  • Slip and falls
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • … and much more

What Can Maritime Workers Do When Injured?

Workers on vessels should know their rights and understand how to protect themselves. The most effective way for injured crew maritime workers to protect their rights is to consult with an experienced maritime attorney. An attorney can evaluate the worker’s circumstances, develop a comprehensive strategy, and pursue legal action against a maritime employer, vessel owner or other liable party who is responsible for causing the accident or who is required by law to take care of and provide benefits for an injured maritime worker.

How Can a Maritime Vessel Injury Accident Lawsuit Attorney Help?

As with any business, maritime employers, vessel owners, offshore companies and their insurance providers are in the business of making a profit. Some maritime employers, vessel owners and offshore companies may believe that the costs of safety equipment, emergency training, and other precautions can cut into their bottom line. Insurance providers are also sometimes hesitant to pay out large claims to injured workers, as these payments impact their profit margins, so they may offer an injured worker pennies on the dollar of what the claim is actually worth.

A knowledgeable maritime injury attorney can help injured workers get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. A skilled maritime injury lawyer understands the methods that maritime employers, vessel owners, offshore companies and their insurers use to protect their profits and deflect injury claims from workers.

What Expenses Can I Possibly Recover From A Maritime Vessel Injury Accident Lawsuit?
Workers can pursue legal action against an employer to recover damages related to the injuries they suffered on the job. These damages can include:

  • Emergency room treatment
  • Surgical procedures
  • Imaging tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.)
  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Prescription medications
  • Assistive devices (wheelchairs, canes, braces, etc.)
  • … and much more.

Workers can also recover damages related to their lost income. These damages can include:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost future income
  • Lost earning capacity

… and much more.

Contact Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm P.C.

The maritime vessel injury accident attorneys at Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm PC have helped injured workers for over 25 years. Our experience has helped us understand the tactics that maritime employers, vessel owners, offshore companies and their insurance carriers use to deny or underpay workers on their maritime claims. We apply our extensive knowledge of maritime law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), and the Jones Act to ensure that our clients get the best legal advice available.

Our attorneys and staff also have the compassion and understanding workers and their families needs during their times of crisis. Call or email us today to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.